Wärtsilä Adds Gate Rudders to Its Propulsion Lineup
Wärtsilä announced it will include Japanese-designed gate rudders as part of it propulsion offering for newbuild vessels and retrofit.
The Finnish-based firm said it signed a license and cooperation agreement with Kuribayashi Steamship Co for future development, sales and servicing of the gate rudders. As an authorized license holder and partner, Wärtsilä intends to fully integrate gate rudders within its propulsion product designs for all vessel classes and focus on global markets outside Japan.
Instead of the traditional rudder arrangement in the propeller slipstream, the gate rudder is a twin arrangement around the propeller, enabling increased fuel efficiency, improved maneuverability and course stability in both calm and rough sea conditions, while also reducing noise and vibration.The concept is applicable to all current vessels equipped with conventional propellers.
Lars Anderson, Director, Propulsion, Wärtsilä Marine, said, “At Wärtsilä we are doing our outmost to support our customers as they look for new technologies to reduce operating costs and improve the environmental sustainability of their operations. We see great potential in this gate rudder technology collaboration. The agreement enables us to support the building of better and more sustainable vessels already today, and Kuribayashi Steamship and the Japanese patent holders are the ideal partners to help us realize this goal.”
In addition to Kuribayashi Steamship, other patent holders are Kamome Propeller, the National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology (NIMPAT, Japan), Yamanaka Shipbuilding, and Professor Noriyuki Sasaki.
Sadatomo Kuribayashi, Chairman of Kuribayashi Steamship Co. Ltd., said, “The agreement with Wärtsilä is a major step forward in introducing gate rudder technology to the global market, and it helps the shipping industry’s initiatives for sustainable shipping and reduced operating costs. An innovative approach has been taken in creating this new solution for the maritime industry. The first evaluations of vessel performance on Japanese coastal vessels have shown a significant improvement in efficiency and manoeuvrability. We see Wärtsilä, with a strong global presence, and sharing the same commitment for developing cleaner, more sustainable, and efficient marine shipping, as being the ideal partner.”